Former Manchester United centre-back Gary Pallister has defended striker Wayne Rooney, and believes that even if there is a three match ban over his head, Rooney should be taken to the Euro 2012 Finals.
The controversy centres around the red card that Rooney received in the final Qualifier against Montenegro. The red card, recieved for needlessly shunting into a Monenegran defender, brings an automatic 3 match suspension, which means that Rooney will be unavailable for selection for all three of England’s Euro 2012 Group games. With a squad of only 23 players allowed, some commentators believe that taking Rooney might cost the team the chance to progress from the Group stages.
Gary Pallister is not one of them! He believes that Rooney has the ability and attitude to really help England behind the scenes whilst he’s banned, and then come out on to the pitch and lead the team to victory on the field.
“Rooney’s not going to be involved for the first few games so it is a difficult situation for Fabio Capello if he does end up with a lengthy suspension” said the lanky ex-defender. “But I would expect him to take Rooney. He’s a world class player. You need as many as those as you can get!”
“I know it’s a risk, but just imagine you get through those three games and you haven’t played well, Rooney can come back into the team and it will be like a shot in the arm to them.
“If the team’s plays well in the group games then you might have to start with him on the bench, but what a player to have on your bench!”
UEFA will be meeting in the next three weeks to decide on whether Rooney’s three-match ban will stand.